Saturday, March 8, 2014

Do you mind if I change the subject?

When I first started my blog, I put up a post about a new lipstick color that I was really excited about! (Check out my review of Maybelline's Pink Pop). When I shared my blog link, my line sister (Amanda) said to me, “I Love your blog. It’s so girly. I love the post about the lipstick. Life gets so serious. Sometimes we should just talk about lipstick.” When she said it, I sorta laughed and kept going. But then later, I thought more about what she said....
As a women's college graduate, I have many fond memories of giggling into the wee hours or the morning, trying on all of each other’s shoes and clothes, and testing out new hairstyles for absolutely no reason at all. I can remember the days where conversations with my girlfriends consisted of tips for the best eye shadow brushes and who was having a sale on cardigans that week. But, we’ve grown up….and the conversations have changed. Our conversations have shifted to relationship troubles, aging parents, career challenges, health concerns, financial hardships,  fertility issues, etc, etc, etc.

There is so much pressure from society for women to be serious all the time.  How many times have you encountered a woman with a seemingly pleasant disposition and found her to be labeled by others as ditzy, flaky, and sometimes just plain dumb? Why is that? What’s wrong with smiling? What’s wrong with just wanting to look at shoes some days? What’s wrong with wanting to read trashy romantic lit sometimes instead of the 400 page nonfiction book about social injustice?  I’m certainly not implying that we shouldn't be able to vent or talk about our issues with our girlfriends. Lord knows I couldn’t make it without being able to talk through some of my problems with them. But why has it become the only topic of conversation that we seem to have these days?

In one of my favorite Sex and the City episodes, Miranda is trying to show the girls her new Palm Pilot (Do you now feel old realizing how long ago that show came out?) and they are all ignoring her because they are focusing on Carrie’s current problems with Big. Miranda has had enough and finally explodes because she can’t understand why 4 intelligent women have nothing to talk about besides men.
Ladies, it’s time for a change in conversation! So next time you’re out or talking to your girlfriends, forget the talk about your jerk of a boss (or boyfriend). Talk about your latest shoe find. Whip out your favorite new lip-gloss. Laugh at something completely ridiculous with reckless abandon. I know the bills are past due and you’re worried about it (me too), but still…..sometimes, we really should just talk about lipstick.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Advice to my Younger Self

Very frequently, I find myself thinking “If I had only known then what I know now.” I've come to learn that hindsight truly is 20/20. If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't change much. Every adventure, relationship, experience………they've all made me who I am. I do, however wish I had been a little more sensible about a few things. So here we go……my advice to my younger self….

16 years old: Slow down. Don’t be in such a rush to grow up. In 10 years, when you’re on a cheese sandwich and popcorn diet just to keep the lights on, you’ll realize how highly overrated “being grown” really is.

18 years old: Dear Lynnette, please stop it with the ridiculous eating habits and get into a good exercise routine. Although you are 120 lbs soaking wet right now, I have some news for you, and you’re not going to like it…..your extra fast metabolism ain’t gonna last always. One day, your size 6 dresses will be a distant memory of yesteryear. Your metabolism will move at the speed of molasses just to spite you and your pencil skirts. So enjoy this time while you can, my love. Savor every bite of those ranch dipped Buffalo wings and your tiny waist while you can.

20 years old: Dear Lynnette, you are not enjoying your college years nearly as much as you should! At this point, you've grown weary of campus life and long to be free. I can tell you though… on the other side of Baldwin is not as glamorous as it appears. Right now, you hardly have any bills, responsibilities, no job, access to 3 hot meals every day, housing, and a car that is being paid for by your dad. Slow down and stop being in such a rush to move on. Take more pictures, stay up later talking to the girls, and go on that trip to South Africa. Being BPB chairman will be awesome, but you’ll never again have the opportunity to go to South Africa for 3 weeks for under $2000.

21 years old: Dear Lynnette, you have just graduated from college and landed your first job! Awesome! The even better part is you have no bills! Your housing is a part of your salary. Your car and car insurance is still being paid for by the generous heart and pockets of your father. You literally have no bills. While lunchtime shopping at exclusive boutiques and buying $300 suits seems appealing, trust me when I tell you; saving your money would be a much better choice! Bank your money, Lynnette. Put it away for a rainy day because in every life, some rain must and will fall. Those $300 suits are a terrible way to spend your money, especially since you won’t be able to fit any of them by age 25, anyway (see advice to 18 year old).

23 years old: Dear Lynnette, pay more attention to your first mentor at your first job. Although you may not agree with all of her ways, she’s done well professionally for a reason; she knows how to navigate the field. Instead of having immature temper tantrums each time she tries to put you in check about one of your unprofessional habits, try to learn from her.  Be more open in your communication with her.  Realize that contrary to what your 23 year old mind is telling you… absolutely do not know everything. You have a lot to learn and you can start with her.

25 years old: Dear Lynnette, stop caring so much about what other people think. Live your life! You can’t please everyone all the time, so stop trying. Figure out what’s best for you, pray about it and keep it moving! Stop entertaining so many opinions from other people. You have only have one life to live. Don’t spend it glued to a phone listening to other people’s opinions about it.

30 years old: Dear Lynnette, stop spending so much time being concerned with “friends” who have suddenly stopped talking to you. And stop being disappointed in “friends” who didn't show up for you. As cliché as it may sound, some friends really are for a season or a reason, and not a lifetime. That doesn't make them any less important to your journey. You’re a good friend and if someone decides to discontinue their friendship with you….that’s their problem and not yours. Stop losing sleep over lost love. Redirect your energy to the ones who have shown their selves to be true.

So comment and tell me……..what would you tell YOUR younger self?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

"All we need is Love series" :Love is not a Feeling. It's a Choice.

I couldn’t do a series on love without dedicating an entire piece to my love…….KB.

Recently, I was out having lunch with a dear friend and she asked me how KB and I came to know each other and how we got engaged. It made me realize that a lot of people don’t know. Especially the “new to the cypher” folks. The abridged version of “our story” Is that we met in 1996 at a conference for our denomination in Louisville, Kentucky. You know how those “made for TV” movie love stories always start with two people locking eyes with each other from across a crowded room? And then everything just stops? And then when it starts again, everyone is moving in slow motion but those two? That’s exactly how we met, sans the slow mo. I was walking around the convention center with my godsister, Christina and I looked up……and there he was. After a quick intro, we were all inseparable for the rest of the conference.  And then afterwards, we kept in touch by phone. We must have talked every single day for the rest of that summer (we have the $800 phone bills to prove it. Sorry, dad!) Over time, we lost touch several times but somehow, we always found our way back to one another. We always chose each other. Over and over again. Finally in 2005, we decided to give “us” a real try. I was invited to come down to FL from VA for his birthday. I thought I was coming down just so we could see if there was still any spark there (I mean I hadn’t seen him since 2000 and it was only the 3rd time I’d seen him in life). Little did I know, he had already gone and purchased an engagement ring! So after our “First date”, he asked if I wanted to see the beach. So we went for a walk on the beach and he whipped out the ring and asked me to be his wife. Obviously, I said yes. And so began our story.
Louisville, KY 1996

It hasn’t been a fairytale. It may have started as one, but every day hasn’t been an easy one. I can remember very early in our marriage hearing the phrase that “Love is not a feeling. It’s a choice." My 26 year old mind definitely didn’t understand what that meant. I don’t think either one of us did. But over the past 8 years, I think we’ve both learned exactly what it means. When my body was struck with Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 28 and I was so angry that all I did was lash out at him every chance I got, he still chose to love me. During the times when he’s been having issues at work, and he’s snapped at me or pushed me away, I’ve still chosen to love him. In all the ways and on all the days we’ve hurt each other, disappointed each other, or were just flat out mean……we’ve still chosen each other. We’ve chosen each other over and over again since 1996 and we still do so today. I think about our marriage and I think about all the great times and memories we’ve had; all the late nights staying up laughing and talking or watching movies. I think about all the vacations, sporting events, and concerts. I also think about the hard days; holding each other’s hand through yet another scary procedure or surgery for one of our moms and burying my last two living grandparents within 3 weeks of each other. Oh yes, our marriage has definitely seen its share of ups and downs. I’m so glad you’re my friend. Someone I can count on to always laugh at my jokes, even when they aren’t funny. Wait. You don’t do that. You tell me they are corny and not to ever tell that joke again. That reminds me……..march 3rd is coming……..*snicker*
And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love. But the GREATEST of these is love. I know that there are those who don’t understand our relationship. They don’t understand why we’re so devoted to each other. They don’t understand how or why we’ve managed to stay together so long. It’s simple….the reason is because we’ve both learned that love is NOT a feeling. It’s a choice. And 18 years later baby…………I still choose you. I choose us. I’m so glad you still choose me, too. Happy ValenTIMES.

I choose you!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"All we need is love" Series: Girlfriends Edition

This week is Valentine's Day. Soon, office buildings will be flooded with flowers, candy, and oversized teddy bears for a day dedciated to celebrating love. For some, Valentine's Day is not a happy occassion. Pop culture has flooded us with one sided images of love that make us feel that if we don't have that "Special someone" on Valentine's Day, we have nothing to celebrate. This couldn't be further from the truth! And so this week, on each day, I plan to celebrate all the ones that I love.

Today, I celebrate my girlfriends!  I love you all. You're all so important to my life in so many different ways. Hey you......over there reading this! Yea, you. I couldn't make it without you, girl!

The TEN girlfriends that EVERY woman needs in her life.

1. The Encourager

This woman is like your personal cheerleader. She thinks you are awesome in every single way possible! She makes you feel like a rockstar at all times! WE all need this friend. This is the one who will tell you on the days you feel ugly just how beautiful you really are. She encourages your dreams and goals. She tells you that you are the BEST at what you do. And you know what? She means it.

My Encouragers: Yogi, Linda, Sabrina, Kim, Amanda, Orathai, Shannon, Sherell, Dara, Robin, Tiffany, Ranyne.

2. The Tell it like it is friend

We ALL need that girlfriend that will listen intently as we vent about our Significant Other, boss, officemates, family, etc and then follow up your rant with the words, "I hear you girl, and you know I love you right? But........."
However, intent is everything! When you find a girlfriend who speaks the truth to you at all times because she loves you and not because she's jealous, she's a keeper! If she's speaking it out of love, even if it's a hard'd be wise to listen to her.  In fact, she's one to seek counsel from because, know she'll never tell you wrong. Remember, Love delights in the truth! She'll never sugar coat to protect your feelings. She gives it to you straight, no chaser.

My Truth Teller's: Chi-Chi, Robin, Abeba, Amanda, Tiffany

4. The friend who makes you feel like a teenager

I have a girlfriend that all of our get together's include trying on every lip gloss in our collections, looking at each other's new shoes and watching the Golden Girls. When I tell my husband this friend is coming over, he literally finds a reason to leave the house. It's just too much girl overload for him! There is a saying "Laughter is the best medicine". And sometimes, you just need that friend that helps you tap into your inner teenager. Sometimes when life weighs you down, you just need to call up one of your fun girls and giggle on the phone for an hour about everything.......and nothing.

My Fun Girls: Sabrina, Yogi, Abeba, Kim, Dionne, Shannon, Cisely, Latrell

5. The Mind Reader

This is the friend that you pick your phone up to call and notice you have a text and it's from her saying "hey. Call me." You are so alike sometimes that it's scary! You like all the same stuff and at some point will realize that you probably own the same random fragrance or lip color. You show up to events dressed alike. You watch all the same shows. You basically share a brain with this person. You never have to explain to her how you're feeling because she totally gets it. You speak to each other in broken sentences and still understand. This is the friend that can usually fix your problems that you've been agonzing over for a week in about 5 minutes.

My Mind Readers: Amanda, Abeba (we actually have started a twin album), Tiffany, Sabrina, Cisely

6. The Girl who has been there from the beginning

Everyone needs that one friend that has known you since before you could talk! It's nice to have this friend because at this point, they are probably a part of your family. This means that you can call this friend and launch into a story about your crazy cousin or your mom's eye surgery and they already know all the history behind it. You need that friend that knows why it's never okay to mention certain movies or songs because it reminds you of your sixth grade boyfriend who broke your heart on the playground. They know all your secrets and understand you without even trying. This friend is totally irreplaceable.

My from the beggining girls: Stephanie, Christina, and Krystal

7.The Odd Couple Friend

This is the friend that you  never saw coming! On the surface, it would appear that you don't have much in common. In fact, you usually look like a modern day version of the Odd Couple when you're out together. However, once you got to know that person, you are so grateful that you did! This friend brings a different worldview and perspective to your life that you may not have known otherwise.

My Unlikely Friends: Ann-Marie, Jackie, Jessica

8. The Friend that can get a prayer through

When your mama is sick........or your SO is tripping..........or your job is working your LAST nerve and all you can do is need that friend who can and will pray with you. The one who will encourage your heart and your spirit. The one who will speak scripture into your life and your situation. The one who will pray for you when you're too weak to pray for yourself. I love the story in the Bible of the four friends who carried their friend to Jesus because he was too weak and ill to go himself. And when they couldn't get in, they lowered their friend down through the roof. Everyone needs that friend who will carry them to Jesus when they are too weak and ill to do it for themselves. And who will get you to Him.......even if it means tearing the roof off the house.

My prayer warriors: Robin, Chi-Chi, Shareeka, Ann-Marie, Amanda, Cisely, Sabrina, Shannon, Tiffany, Ranyne, Christina

9. The friend who fuels your obsessions

This friend doesn't think it's weird at all that you would spend your entire paycheck on shoes and accessories, if you could. Besides, lights and running water are highly overated, anyway. She will spend hours combing through shoes at the DSW sale or through earrings to find the perfect shade of pink to match your new dress. And if it's on sale? That's even better! When you find a deal, she's happier than you are! And she ALWAYS sends you coupons to your favorite stores.

My friends that, much to KB's chagrin, fuel my obsessions: Sabrina (if you send me ONE more Body Shop coupon), Robin, Tiffany, Cisely, Kim

10. The Unshockable Friend

There is absolutely nothing you could tell this friend that would shock them. NOTHING. They never judge you. They don't even blink. In fact, their reactions are so calm, you sometimes think they didn't hear you. She also must be good at keeping secrets, because she knows all the most ratchet and flinch-worthy things about you. And guess what? She loves you, anyway!

My unshockable friends: Yogi, Abeba, Amanda

So in celebration of Valentine's Day.....reach out to your girlfriends....all of them and let them know how much you love them!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Maybelline "Pink Pop"

Anyone who knows me can you tell you that I am completly and totally obsessed with all things GIRL. Well, girly girl.

I love shoes, hair, shoes, acessories, shoes, handbags........did I mention shoes?

I also love makeup and exploring different colors. I love to experiment with different looks. Don't be surprised that a portion of my blog will be dedicated to this.

So for my first blog, I wanted to do a review of the color, "Pink Pop".

KB (See..........told you he'd be frequently referenced) says it looks like a bubblegum kids makeup color! Hmph. What does he know? LOL!

I can't say anything really negative about the color. It has a really long wear. It's a cool, icy shade. I paired this with a charcoal eyeliner and gray eyeshadow. I got a lot of compliments on this color. So far, I have purchased two of the colors from the Maybelline "VIVIDS" line and I love them both!

So, tell me.........what colors have you purchased?

What the heck are you going to blog about?


"So what exactly is the purpose of this blog?"

 This is the question that has been posed to me by every person I've told I was going to start blogging this year.

Well.......the purpose is multi-faceted.

-To have an outlet to get out my thoughts
-To get back into the practice of writing on a reguar basis
-To give my unsolicited opinions about any and everything. (I'm sure KB would agree that's my favorite thing to do. KB is my husband. At some point, I'll do a "key players in my life" blog. But he'll be referenced frequently, I'm sure.)

In this blog, we'll explore God, world events, celebrity gossip, weight loss, makeup, hair, shoes, wine, friendship and love.  I say "we" because I plan to share many aspects of my personal journey through life and I hope you'll come along on that journey with me.

I tend to be a pretty private person, so having a blog is a totally unheard of thing for me.

But I promised my girlfriend from college, Dara, that I would do this.

So here goes, D.

And so the journey begins..........or rather, it continues.............

Let's ride.